20 questions on health and fitness: Skincare entrepreneur Alyson Hogg

Gail Bell asks experts and people in the public eye what keeps them going. This week: award-winning Ballyclare businesswoman, Alyson Hogg, CEO of celebrity skincare and tanning brand, Vita Liberata

Ballyclare businesswoman Alyson Hogg, CEO of award-winning skincare company, Vita Liberata

1. Up and at it – what is your morning routine?

I wake somewhere between 4am and 7am, depending on time zone. I always reach for my phone to check the time and then can’t help but check emails. I try to go back to sleep, but that rarely works – like right now, in fact. It is 4.30am, I am in LA and am writing this in the bathroom, trying not to waken my husband. I love to take a walk, if I can get the time – down on the beach if I am in LA, up to Hyde Park in London, down to the river if I’m in Ireland, and the 20 blocks to work if I’m in New York. I always eat breakfast with my husband – we travel together most of the time, which is what keeps me on the road.

2. What might you eat in a typical working day for...

Breakfast? Porridge oats, gluten-free toast and some fruit.

Lunch? Lunch is a big kale salad, if I have time to find one (I eat so much kale that someone once bought me a kale plant).

Dinner? Dinner is usually something light; it makes such a difference to sleeping well and helps with energy levels in the morning.

3. Is nutrition important to you?

It is critical, of course, as nutrients are the fuel of life. I take supplements, including B12 for energy.

4. Best meal ever?

Lunch at Can Rocquet in Romanyà de la Selva, Spain – it was a steak I think, not kale for once.

5. Do you have a guilty pleasure?

That would be crisps and 'chubby' chips.

6. Have you ever been on a diet? If so, how did it go?

I am a woman – of course I’ve been on diets! Diets are about healthy eating, I have discovered. Once you realise this, then you realise you’re always on a diet.

7. Do you take health supplements?

B12 for energy.

8. How do you relax?

I play games on my phone and read historical novels, but I also love to walk; walking is a great form of relaxation.

9. Teetotal or tipple?

I drink very little – I don’t have enough time to really enjoy a drink but if I do have something it is a glass of Champagne or a Hendricks and Slimline with cucumber, both of which I rarely finish (which drives my husband nuts).

10. Stairs or lift?

In New York, 51 floors up is a long flight of stairs.

11. Do you have a daily exercise regime?

See above – walking hundreds of stairs.

12. Best tip for everyday fitness?

Walk – just keep moving.

13. On a scale of one to 10, how fit do you think you are; how fit would you like to be?

I am, sadly, not very fit. I was an athlete and basketball player in school and would love to go back to being that fit.

14. Have you tried, or would you try, alternative therapy?

Yes, definitely, I thoroughly believe in the benefits of reflexology, acupuncture and lymphatic drainage.

15. Were school sports happy times or do you have a memory you would rather forget?

No bad memories; I loved it all.

16. Did you ever have a health epiphany which made you change your lifestyle?

Yes – finding out I was very intolerant to gluten made me change my lifestyle, especially when I realised that the bumps on my upper arms were a sign of gluten intolerance. The change to my health has been unbelievable.

17. Best health/lifestyle advice you were ever given and would pass on to others?

Breathe! And take time to consider what you are doing to yourself.

18. Who would you try to emulate in terms of fitness/attitude to life?

Nick Santos, a guy from Instagram – he has no legs, one arm, and is a body builder. An astounding young man. Look him up @nicksanto534.

19. What time do you get to bed normally and do you think you get enough sleep?

I fall into bed somewhere between 8pm and 11pm in the US and between midnight and 4am in the UK (time zone issues). I aim for eight hours, but it is usually between five and six, if I'm honest. If I can stay in one time zone for a few weeks, I start to be able to get almost eight hours' sleep.

20. Would you say you have a healthy attitude towards your own mortality?

My mother died suddenly, when I was 23. Then, when I was 24, I contracted a rare tropical virus that affected me for the next seven years. When I was 32, I had a condition that would have killed both me and my daughter in childbirth, if it were not for ultrasound scans that detected it. We do not necessarily choose the time of our passing, therefore we should live life in such a way that, if we suddenly realised we were at the end, we would not have any fundamental regrets. I would hope that my husband and children know how deeply I love them, and that I have not left anyone with too sour a taste in their mouth at the memory of me.

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